Launch of Hydrogen South West consortium to accelerate the transition to a net zero future

Posted on: 21/06/2022

A group of nine leading organisations covering aerospace, shipping, hi-tech engineering and public utilities have come together to launch Hydrogen South West, a partnership which will create an infrastructure ecosystem that will bring the benefits of hydrogen to the South West of England.

This infrastructure ecosystem of key industries aims to decarbonise transport, commerce and power, while driving sustainable growth, upskilling the region and delivering new job opportunities.

Focusing on key sectors such as shipping, aviation and housing as well as industry, the consortium comprises leading companies easyJet, Airbus and Hynamics (EDF); industrial heavyweights GKN Aerospace; consultants and engineers Costain and Wood; and regional leaders Bristol Port, Bristol Airport and Wales & West Utilities

The collaboration creates links between supply and demand centres in the region, and enables cross-sector partnerships that will drive the development of hydrogen infrastructure and technology.

Hydrogen South West supports the  government’s ambitious drive to generate 10 GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. It will also provide a means for further representation and collaboration in national initiatives.

Several pilot projects are planned, including:

  • Hydrogen Hub at Bristol Port – a study is underway to explore configuring the port to accept hydrogen or ammonia by ship, power landside vehicles with hydrogen and establish a hydrogen production facility at the port. The project includes developing a local pipeline network and supporting Airbus’ hydrogen-powered aircraft of the future
  • Project Acorn – easyJet aims to begin flying hydrogen aircraft as soon as they are commercially viable. To prepare the ground, the company will continue with the research and development of hydrogen powered Ground Support Equipment at Bristol Airport

Simon Earles, Hydrogen South West Chair, said:

The South West has a rich engineering and energy history, and is home to a powerful cluster of leading aerospace, transport and logistics businesses.“This combination of industrial experience, delivery expertise and regional knowledge presents a formidable opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to alternative power at scale.

Matt Hindle, Wales & West Utilities Head of Net Zero & Sustainability, said:

We’re delighted to be part of Hydrogen South West, joining forces with companies across different sectors to make sure communities across south west England and beyond benefit from the hydrogen revolution.

The 2020s must be a decade of delivery, where we put the research and development work that has been done on hydrogen into practice. This partnership will help develop the hydrogen infrastructure needed to drive the growth of hydrogen technology stimulating business across the region and creating high skilled new jobs.

Unlocking the potential of hydrogen will help the UK get to Net Zero: decarbonising heat, industry, transport and power, while keeping the impact on communities and customers’ bills to a minimum.”

The partnership is working with Business West to create a skills development proposition that would bring upskilling and employment benefits to communities across the West of England. This has been formalised with the Hydrogen South West Skills Consortium. By driving investment and innovation in decarbonising technology, the South West is poised to become a centre of excellence for hydrogen expertise.

To find out more, visit www.hydrogensouthwest.com.